Last night, I was in bed scrolling through the internet, like one does late at night, when I found a Buzzfeed article entitled “31 Quotes From Children’s Books That Will Inspire You At Any Age“. Even though I haven’t read most of the books, I could still relate to a lot of the quotes that were there. A common theme that seems to appear, not just within these quotes, but in all children’s books, is that there is no such thing as the impossible. In January I decided that I would read one of my favorite books from when I was young: Ronja Rövardotter. Written by Astrid Lindgren, it is the tale of a young girl and how she finds her way in the world. The main theme of the book is the everlasting feud between Mattis (her father) and Borka (a rival robber). The impossible thing in the novel was that they would end up being friends, but through the love for their children, Ronja and Birk, they’re able to make peace with one another.
Side note, if you haven’t read an Astrid Lindgren story, you’ve been missing out on some of the best story telling of the 20th century.
One of the quotes from the article was from The Phantom Tollbooth: “So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.” I read it over again, and started thinking about what it really meant. It means that anything that you believe you can do can become possible. That’s how athletes, CEO’s, writer’s, actors, and doctors, become who they want. They don’t believe that their goals are impossible, because when they do, that’s when they become harder to achieve. My mom currently works at IBM, and while she’s there, she blogs about her experiences around the world. Today she sent me her latest blog post about “shooting like a girl”, where she talks about how she got into rifle shooting and eventually made it to the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where she finished 8th. Pretty good for a 22 year old. Actually, as I’m writing this, I’m realizing that I am the same age that my mom was when she was preparing for those summer Olympics…I have some catching up to do.
Another quote that struck me, not because of what it meant, but what it could mean is from Through the Looking Glass: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Unlike Alice, I need breakfast before I can start thinking about the impossible, but rather than think about what I have still yet to discover is impossible, I’ve decided to think back to things I thought were impossible.
Here is my list of Six Impossible Things:
- Commentating, sidelining, and reporting: I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would one day actually be able to commentate the sport that I love, and have that be an option for a career. More importantly, I did not think that I would be able to stand on the sideline and interview players so effortlessly. It all started thanks to an email I received in the summer of 2012, asking for people who wanted to work for athletics; there starts my love affair for the split-N.
- Work for Amazon: When I was applying for coops back in the fall, I knew that Amazon was a long shot; the caliber of the people they interview has always been very high and I wasn’t too surprised when I wasn’t chosen for their initial on-campus interview. When I got the call saying they were doing more and that they wanted to interview me, I was in a state of nervous excitement for a few minutes, until I focused up and started preparing. Once the interview was over, I could finally relax and look forward to the night. I wasn’t even thinking about it anymore until I got a call at 6pm, telling me they’d like to offer me a position. Opportunities like that don’t come around too often, and after two days of deliberation, I was officially going to be moving to Seattle to live and work for six months. Which leads me to the next point.
- Move to Seattle (by myself): Before January, I had never left the East Coast (except for one trip to Salt Lake City, Utah), and had never been this far away from my family for such an extended period of time. Not only am I surviving it, I’m really enjoying it. Every day is a new adventure, and the experience has taught me so much about myself, and who I am as a person.
- Spread the sports that I love through coaching: I’ll be honest, I always knew I wanted to coach, I just never thought that I’d be doing it in such diverse places, and alongside people who had coached me when I was growing up. Last spring when I was home working for IBM, I ended up coaching the goalies of the Millbrook Knights, the youth hockey organization that i played for when I first started skating. Funny thing is, I was coaching alongside some of the fathers who played and coached with my dad. I hope they had some good words about me when they saw my dad. I also spread my wings and started coaching lacrosse in my school district. The girls on my team went to my middle school, they lived down the street the from me, and in some cases, I had gone to school with their older siblings. Some things I will look back on and simply think, it’s funny how that worked out.
- Have every opportunity I could ask for at Northeastern: I knew I wanted to go to a big school; a big school meant that there would be more options and more opportunity. Northeastern has given me so much more than I could have asked for. From the opportunity to go on coops, to commentating, playing club hockey, taking amazing classes with brilliant professors, working for athletics, and playing in the pep band, I’ve been one lucky girl. I honestly don’t think I could have had the rich experience that I’ve had at Northeastern, at any other college.
- Have my own blog that people actually read: Blogging is difficult, I’m not going to lie. It takes a lot of time and effort to come up with a topic that care enough about to write over 1000 words on, but it is so rewarding seeing my statistics and numbers shoot up after I’ve posted something. I’ll always remember my most successful blog post from my IBM days about why people didn’t want to be social. It absolutely took off, and people probably still comment on it to this day, event though I’m no longer there to read what they have to say. That was back when my mom would only get 300 or so views on her posts, now she can easily eclipse 1000 after 24 of publishing. I hope all of you enjoy reading about my experiences just as much as I like writing about them.
It’s amazing looking back and thinking about what you thought would never occur, and see how far you’ve progressed. I’m sure there are a lot of things in your life that you can look back on and think “wow, I never thought that that would happen”.
Keep thinking that everything is possible; life is much more enjoyable if you do.